Warm congratulations to all Middle Tennessee State University August graduates! Special mention to former Center graduate assistants Annabeth Hayes and Sherry Teal (shown here with Center director Dr. Carroll Van West), who received their Masters of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History. We also congratulate newly-minted Public History Ph.D. Dr. Bob Beatty, who was hooded by Dr. West. We look forward to seeing what all of them will do in the next phase of their careers.
The Center recently welcomed visitors from the National Trails Intermountain Region of the National Park Service. Director Dr. Carroll Van West, Trail of Tears historian Amy Kostine, and fieldwork coordinator Savannah Grandey showed our guests around some of the Trail of Tears witness sites and road segments throughout Middle and East Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. These sites are part of our ongoing partnership with the NPS to survey and document the existing Trail of Tears-era landscape in the region. Here, the crew is pictured walking along the National Register-listed Kelly’s Ferry Road and Crossing in Marion County, Tennessee.
Our Summer 2018 newsletter, Common Bond, looks at several exciting projects that we recently completed in Memphis, explores our ongoing survey of historically black colleges and universities in Alabama, and celebrates the successes of our graduates. Contact us if you would like to know more about our projects and programs.
Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU branched out with a new partnership in July. Working with the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, Missouri, staff members Kira Duke and Stacey Graham, along with graduate research assistant Colbi Layne Hogan, led a two-day workshop focused on citizenship. The workshop included a tour of the historic site, which is located at the former White Haven plantation where Grant met his wife, Julia Dent Grant.
Summer is a busy time for farmers across Tennessee, including those who are part of the Tennessee Century Farms Program. Keep an eye on the program’s Facebook page as we welcome newly certified farms this summer. You can also support Tennessee agriculture this summer through the state’s Pick Tennessee Products initiative. Shown here are beehives on the Allen Family Farm in Moore County.
Early bird registration is now open for the 5th Annual Slave Dwelling Project Conference, to be held at Middle Tennessee State University from October 24-27, 2018. Go to this link to learn more, and be sure to register by August 15 for the early bird discount. The theme of the 2018 conference is “Slavery, Resistance, and Community,” which will provide an excellent forum for discussing the history of slavery, as well as the ongoing challenges faced by our multi-ethnic democracy in the twenty-first century. Conference highlights will include a keynote by Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad, and a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. A preliminary program is available. One of the sessions will discuss South Carolina’s McLeod Plantation, shown here. The conference is sponsored by the Slave Dwelling Project, the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
If you’re looking for someplace to beat the heat while you’re out and about in downtown Murfreesboro this summer, be sure to stop by the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. Located at 225 West College Street, the Heritage Center houses exhibits about the history of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. A new exhibit incorporating a recently donated butter churn (pictured) is in progress, so look for it in the coming months. Also, be sure to check out our brochure rack to pick up local driving and walking tours, as well as literature about nearby historic sites.
As part of the renovations to the historic Rhea County Courthouse, the Center for Historic Preservation recently unveiled a new exhibit on the history of the county, including the Strawberry Festival, Native communities, industrial transformations, and the Scopes Trial. This twelve-panel exhibit will be on display throughout the main floors of the courthouse. This project grew out of a Heritage Development Plan created by graduate students in Dr. Van West’s historic preservation class in the spring of 2017 at the request of the Rhea County Historical Society. In addition to this new exhibit and physical renovations to help preserve the building, the Courthouse’s existing museum on the Scopes Trial has been updated with new exhibits designed by Advent.
Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU kicks off its busy summer professional development schedule with the second annual “Teaching History Today: Content and Strategies for U.S. and World History” mini-conference on June 4th at the McWherter Learning Resource Center on the MTSU campus. The MTSU History Department is collaborating with TPS-MTSU to offer four content sessions by MTSU History Department faculty: Dr. Mary Evins, Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, Dr. Sean Foley, and Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk. The day will also feature strategy and resource sessions by Dr. Andrew Polk (MTSU History Department), Sarah Calise and Donna Baker (Albert Gore Research Center), and our TPS-MTSU staff. The MTSU Center for Educational Media will be recording the day’s sessions for inclusion in their online programming.
The inaugural “Teaching History Today” professional development mini-conference in 2017 reached teachers from across middle Tennessee and included lecturers such as MTSU’s Dr. Amy Sayward, shown here. This year’s “Teaching History Today” will build on last year’s event and bring in new lecturers and partners.
Check out the summer workshop schedule for more opportunities to learn with TPS!
Check out the latest news from the Center for Historic Preservation in our spring newsletter, out now! Catch up with former students, learn about upcoming and ongoing projects, and stay connected to all of our special programming by signing up for our e-mail list to receive Common Bond right to your inbox.